1 John 3:1: “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God! And that is what we are!”
Some versions use the phrase “behold what manner of love” which calls us to stop and ponder the reality of this amazing truth. To behold means to sense and see with awakened understanding and what we are to sense, see and marvel at is the great love God has given us. Today we have lost the marvel of His love, a love that we all need. It’s not something that we just need to know about but love that we need to experience. His love has the power to impact our present and redirect our future. It is something that will ease the pain of broken hearts, and shattered dreams, giving us peace for our souls. It is where we can find our value and builds our confidence because His love tells us that we matter, that we are accepted. The love of God is unlike any other love that we can experience there is no other like it. It is greater than a parent’s love, deeper than the love of a spouse. A love so lavish it is foreign to us because it is an out of this World love yet an unfailing love that was proven here in our world on the cross.
Right before chapter 3 John used the phrase “born of Him” in 2:29 because when we receive God’s Son as Lord and Savior we are born into a new spiritual family where God the Creator becomes our Father. He does this because of His great love which He demonstrated for all mankind on the cross so that we can become the children of God. If you have accepted His love you are now related to the One who is the Divine Creator of the Universe, the One you can now call Dad. As His kids we are called to practice righteousness which begins by faith and ends in love. If we will accept God’s love it will impact our lives because God’s love:
In our society we are all placed into different categories and groups because of our education, economics, politics, race and yet in the eyes of God we are all equal. No matter where we come from or where we’ve been, what I love is that we are all on equal ground when it comes to the love of God. God’s love reaches to the lowest places from the bottom of the barrel and in the gutter of life where the homeless lie all the way to the palace on a hilltop. Jesus Christ died on the cross for everyone equally and He loves all of His kids the same.
Not only do we need to be loved but like food it is an ongoing need and the good news is that God will not stop loving us no matter what. The Love of God endures time, trials and transgressions He will not quit loving us. Many people live in fear that there will come a time in their relationship that they will stop being loved. In our human relationships often this is because of something that we do and the person who loves us just quits loving us. Yet in our relationship with God that is an unnecessary fear because the love of God endures in spite of us! In an ever-changing world God’s love is the one continual, constant, and certain thing in our lives.
When we are saved our sins are washed by the blood of Jesus and we are cleansed, liberated and set free, no longer a slave to sin. You may be in bondage, enslaved feeling trapped by the chains you have tried to break, oh you’ve tried to get free pulling and stretched with all your strength but to no avail. I want you to know that you can be free, emancipated and liberated through the blood of Jesus Christ. If you come to Him and confess your sins His love will break the chains of sin and set your free.
There have been many programs over the years that have tried to get homeless people off the streets by setting them up in apartments and arranging for them to have jobs but most of the time in a short while they just ended up back on the streets. Why, because even though there environment was changed their nature was the same and on the inside nothing had changed. When we experience the love of God we are cleansed by the blood of Jesus from the inside out. God reaches down and lifts us up out of the miry clay, and places us upon a rock, a sure and steadfast foundation. We become a new creation, old things pass away, and behold all things are become new. No matter how well intentioned our programs may be, apart from Christ they don’t change and whatever increase we see, whatever elevation, it is temporal at best and destined to fall. Our greatest need is not educational, environmental or economical it is love which can only be met by Christ. How great is the love the Father has lavished on us? Why don’t you find out and let Him satisfy your greatest need with a love that is complete and forgiving?